Everyone knows the motto: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll but few remember that the phrase first appeared in the Seventies and evolved from the earlier rallying cry of the counter culture; Peace, Love and Rock and Roll.
Rock and roll is considered to be, among other things, a form of youthful rebellion. In today’s society where there is considerably more tolerance of sex than in the past, sex still has it dangers; disease, unwanted pregnancy and crimes of passion. Drugs have damage to one’s mental health, physical health problems, incarceration and death from overdose as major drawbacks.
Sex and drugs are still two things of which our authority figures warn us and rebellion is almost always aimed at authority figures. Sex and drugs aren’t just fun but potentially dangerous pastimes but unlike skiing and bungee jumping, they are also acts of rebellion and statements of individuality.
A long time ago in the legendary land known as “The Sixties”, peace and love were the acts of rebellion. How could peace and love possibly be considered acts of rebellion? We, as a society, were a warlike people. Our grandfathers had fought the “War To End All Wars”, great name but lousy war. Our fathers saved the world by winning World War Two, the worst named war EVER! It’s just asking for a World War Three, we do everything in threes, and the Korean Conflict, whatever that was, was still fresh when we entered Vietnam. To the youth of the 1960s it was peace and love that were the radical concepts, hate, intolerance and war were the norm.
Throughout all the changes the one constant that remained as a form of rebellion was Rock and Roll. Even as a form of rebellion against rock and roll itself as when Punk Rock declared Classic Rock bands, Dinosaurs, and the music of the previous generation dead.
It’s sad that the original motto; peace, love and rock and roll has been lost to the ages and considered anachronistic by those who may still remember. It was that relationship of the music to the concepts of peace and love that gave it its original power. Sex and drugs may be fun to some and shocking to others but they ultimately lack power and the ability to inspire that peace and love have. It was that association that helped the music survive as long as it has and hopefully the music will one day be utilized to restore the ideas of peace and love to our collective consciousness where they truly belong.